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DODGE CITY, Kan. â€“ Fans have come to expect nothing but greatness with the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.
Members of the volunteer committee that produce the annual event have come up with a topper in the form of the Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls, set for 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at Roundup Arena.
â€śWe looked at ways we could add to our rodeo, and we realized there was something with the Xtreme Bulls,â€ť Roundup chairman Dr. R.C. Trotter said, referring to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Associationâ€™s bull riding-only events. â€śWe thought this was the perfect way to kick off a big week of rodeo in Dodge City.â€ť
Roundup is a big-time event in ProRodeo. Two years ago, it was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. Each season, it regularly features a whoâ€™s who list of the sportâ€™s greatest stars. In fact, there are so many bull riders that most performances feature two sections of bull riding â€“ one to start the show, and one to finish.
â€śWe get a lot of bull riders every year, so we thought this was a great way to get the very best to show up one night,â€ť said Trotter, who, with his wife, Mary, is sponsoring the Xtreme Bulls with Glazerâ€™s/Miller/Coors. â€śI think the fans will love it.â€ť
They should. The Roundup championship buckle is one of the most sought-after prizes in the sport; now the Xtreme Bulls championship will be another strong piece to a bull riderâ€™s resume.
â€śDodge City is one of the best rodeos all year,â€ť said Sage Kimzey, a ProRodeo rookie who has led the bull riding world standings much of the season. â€śI love that they are having an Xtreme Bulls event, and it sounds like the city of Dodge City and the sponsors have stepped up to make this great.
The one-night affair will feature a large purse, which is attractive to the contestants. Now in its 10th year, the Xtreme Bulls Tour features a place for the top bull riders in the game to showcase their talents against some of the rankest bulls in the sport. Forty bull riders will all compete in the first round, with the best scores advancing to the championship round. The best cumulative score on the two rides will be crowned the inaugural Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls champion.
â€śXtreme Bulls is a very good deal for the sport of rodeo,â€ť said Kimzey, 19, of Strong City, Okla. â€śBull riding has always been a fan-favorite event, and Iâ€™m not saying that just because Iâ€™m a bull rider. If you can bring it all together with the top 40 bull riders and some hometown guys, you understand why itâ€™s such a good deal.
â€śItâ€™s great for the sport, great for the fans and great for the bull riders.â€ť
While Kimzey leads the world standings, four-time and reigning world champion J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas, leads the Xtreme Bulls money list. Both are expected to be in the line-up when the show rolls into town. Kimzey, who won the Xtreme Bulls title in San Antonio earlier this year, is hoping he continues his string of solid performances.
â€śMomentum is the most important thing in bull riding ad rodeo in general,â€ť said Kimzey, who earlier this month finished second at the College National Finals Rodeo. â€śItâ€™s such a mind game. You can fail 50 percent of the time, and youâ€™re still a good bull rider in todayâ€™s world.â€ť